THE Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has written to the HSE requesting management to confirm that no hospital doctors are working more than 48 hours a week.
An EU directive dictates that workers in the EU should work no more than 48 hours weekly.
However, junior doctors warned last week that some are working 36-hour shifts in Irish hospitals and that some are working over 70 hours a week, resulting in exhaustion, stress, depression and even suicide.
In a letter to the HSE, HIQA expressed concerns that there may be risks to patients as a result.
The HSE has been given until February 6 to provide assurances that there are controls in place to manage and mitigate risks to patients caused by doctors' long hours.